Starve the military beast

December 18, 2009

Over the years I have appreciated Jules Witcover's perspectives. But what he wrote in "War president makes case for his peace prize" (Dec. 15) went down with a thud. Mr. Witcover was unconvincing when he gave this alibi for President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech: "... he seized upon it to make a measured and rational defense for his decision to send 30,000 more Americans to Afghanistan, straightforwardly observing that 'some will kill and some will be killed.'"

The column is a misguided rationalization for this awful decision to escalate the war, ensuring more death and devastation in desperately poor Afghanistan.

Mr. Witcover well knows how a similar decision destroyed another presidency. While the masters of war greeted the decision to escalate with war whoops, this decision is an insult to the ideal behind the Nobel Peace Prize. It will cost $1 million for every soldier sent to Afghanistan. Yet we are closing recreation centers and fire stations in Baltimore. And we are in a depression unlike anything seen in 70 years.

We, the activists, will continue to march, hold vigils and demonstrate against this misguided use of tax dollars for weapons rather than for social programs and projects. But we need the support of the commentators to convince the legislators to fund health care, not warfare; small business loans, not drones; farms, not arms. We must lobby our legislators to starve the military beast in order to feed the people.Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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